Writer/director Judd Apatow is famous for the insightful notes he gives to other comedians, such as Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo, when they were writing Bridesmaids. In the behind-the-scenes documentary on the making of Funny People (Judd’s most under-rated film, in my opinion), I discovered that Apatow also gives notes to himself!
I always type into my phone these little notes to myself:
– Be careful. Funny in the wrong place can be the enemy.
– Don’t let everyone beat you into being a slave to logic and ‘arcs’. Surprise them and yourself.
– Take the leap. No simple bromance, no easy ways out.
– Don’t try so hard to be liked with this. It is okay to hit people in the gut. Give them what they need, not what they want — make them feel it.
– It shouldn’t be a ‘comedians are miserable movie,’ ‘behind the sad clown movie.’ It should be so real and specific that all people relate to it.
Um… and then it goes on and on and on and on and on.
The documentary is approximately an hour long and has a lot of great information about Apatow’s writing and rehearsal process, and also a funny segment where you’ll learn that, during shooting, legendary cinematography Janusz Kaminsky exposed himself to Seth Rogen. For, er, research purposes. Recommended.